Thursday, October 05, 2006

Morning With a Crack Addict

Early this morning I got a call from my ex-boyfriend; the crack addict. "Rob" had fallen off the wagon again and wanted me to go to his place to pick him up and get him into rehab. I reluctantly agreed to take the time out of my morning to do that. Only that.

Rob was a mess; hysterical, chewing on the inside of his lips, looking about frantically from the corner of his eyes, shaking from the drug... "sketchy" is what they call it, I think.

Never having done drugs (and unaware that he was an addict while we were together) I was shocked to see what crack will do to someone. All I had known before was what it had done to me: he had stolen thousands of dollars from me before I had caught on. Sure, I'd seen a deteriorating personality: surliness, outright nastiness, withdrawal and avoidance. But I'd seen it as the death of the relationship (which it was) without knowing the reasons behind it. One of his many excuses was that he had the Epstein-Barr virus, a believable excuse to someone unfamiliar with drugs.

Today Rob admitted that he had "borrowed" thousands of dollars from his parents over these last several months. He always had an excuse for them, but it all went to crack (which is why he doesn't have two nickels to rub together). Incidentally, I have no sympathy for his parents. They didn't choose to listen to my warnings. As his moronic mother has told me before, she would rather give him the money for drugs than "force" him to steal it.

So this time I took Rob to rehab. They told him that they could see him in an hour, so while we were waiting, we went to a nearby restaurant to get a cheap meal into him. He sat there in the booth, twitching, chewing, and glancing about nervously.

The waiter came up and gave us the menus. Rob glanced at his menu, put it down, and pushed it away. I looked over mine, gathered up the menus, and placed them to the side of the table. "Hey," said Rob. "Can't *I* get a menu?" I sighed and explained to him that he'd already seen it, and handed it back to him.

The waiter came up and I ordered potato pancakes. He looked at Rob expectantly. When Rob said nothing, I said "How about getting him some potato pancakes too?"

"No!" said Rob. "I can't deal with the colors." The waiter looked at me. I looked back and shrugged. Yeah, you know how potato pancakes are. The colors always throw me, too. I'm sure you agree...

Rob settled on french toast, eggs, and ham. I guess they weren't as colorful.

After breakfast we went back to the rehab center, but finances became a problem. Here's an example of Crack Math: Rob had $600. He just smoked $130 worth of crack. His rent is $650. His electricity has been turned off. He needs to pay his phone bill of $65. The clinic charges $100 plus room and board. During that time Rob can't work. How screwed is Rob?

Yeah. I think you've got the picture.

So, I drove Rob back to his place, where he crashed after calling in "sick". He is hoping to be able to get back on the wagon and start work again tomorrow in order to get enough money to pay the rent.

And my morning? Wasted, except that I am able to share it with all you fine people. As I told Rob, it's the last time I take time out of my day to help him. Although I won't give him money, time is money, too.


Fruitful Spirit said...

I do know the pain you are in dealing with this. This is not an easy seat to be in and you did what you could. Until he really wants to be better nothing anyone does will make it so! Take comfort in that you did a good deed and they never go unrewarded. Hugs!

Edge said...

Not a waste on me. For some reason I'm having a sympathetic, but not condoning streak today. Whatever his demon is it's easier to medicate it than to address it. And we won't kid ourselves, we all have our demons, some of us just medicate a little differently.

I do think at some point you need to cut the ties and be free and clear. I won't call you an enabler, but bailing him out is like feeding the stray cat now and then.

Maybe I'm wrong to say that, but it's better to get out of the fire completely than to let it consume and burn you, even if you aren't into drugs.


Nihilistic said...

I wish my rent were $650!

Ajay Shroff said...

I agree with Jef that at some point you need to cut the ties and be free.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Woah! Those are some groovy pancakes!

EmmaSometimes said...

I'm sorry, Saur. It's hard on you I'm sure.

But I'd agree: cut ties and enjoy your pancakes.

Eddo said...

Ugh. Time IS money. How right you are about that, sometimes even more valuable than money because you can always make more money and you can never make more time.

I've missed stopping by, I am not sure why I do this, it's like I sit at my computer and think, "Whose blog do I need to read?" and I can't remember anyones and so I go to my blogroll and then I get distracted and ugh, excuses, excuses, blah, blah, blah... Anyway, I hope things get better for Rob, all we can do is pray for him.

Mr. Fabulous said...

It sounds as if he is going downhill at a pretty good rate.

Normally I might feel at least a little bad for him, but it seems like he was doing that stealing from you when he still had most of his faculties.

SO fuck him.

Herb said...

It doesn't sound to me like you were anything other than a good friend, not an enabler. It seems clear that you've cut the ties, but you are still a human being. if you had given him money or anything other than your time (which I know does have value, also) that would be different.

js said...

first I'd vomit if my rent was that hi9gh, hell my mortgage aint that high
second, you are a much much better person thatn me

Senor Caiman said...


Glad to see you're back blogging.

I have a really boring life compared to yours.

I hope you are doing well.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Gator, I'm doing well, thanks for asking, hon! I hope you are, too.

JS, Whew! Where do you live? It can't be the Tampa Bay Area. $650/month is pretty cheap,here. Housing prices are artificially inflated, though...

Herb, thank you. I am trying to balance what I feel that I might "owe" him (due to a 6 year relationship) and what he is now (obviously not the same person I once knew).

Mr. Fabulous, ;o) Tell it like it is, my brother. Yeah, you're right. My common sense...the higher brain functions... tell me to drop him like a hot potato (as does everyone that I know) but I still sometimes see a glimmer of the man I once loved. That man is dying, but I keep hoping that (even though we'll never have a future) that man isn't completely dead.

Eddo, I was wondering where you'd gotten to, but I know you've been swamped so thanks for dropping by! I really appreciate your prayers for him. I really do.

...more in a mo...

Saur♥Kraut said...

Emma, thanks for the sensible weigh-in, hon. *hugs* Those pancakes were very yummy. They did nothing for my bottom line, of course, but they made my tastebuds sing! ;o)

Lazy Iguana, ;o) Technicolor pancakes, courtesy of PhotoImpression.

Ajay, Yes, that's really where it seems to be heading. The separation had already happened, and I'm easier every day with it. I am sure there will come a day when I'm completely done with him.

Nihilistic, you live in one of the most expensive areas in the country! Yours is probably $650 a square foot! :D

Jef, you're completely correct on all counts. His particular demon is a bad childhood, and that's all I'll say for now. That, and the fact that he's got some issues that are probably hereditary, too.

Fruitful Spirit, *hugs* Thank you so much, sweetie.

Fl Cracker said...

I live in the woods , east of Tally. When I say the woods I mean I could shoot a high powered rifle in any direction from my shanty and never fear hitting elses house. (and I have :)~~)
I rented a house while we were building, 3 br 1 bath, 2900 sq feet for $300.00 per, on an acre.
The prices are inflated right now but they are starting to fall, there will be some deals out there right before Christmas (up here anyway) because the market is soft and the flippers will try to liquidate. The loss should weigh against the gains on other flips they experienced this year and they will want/need to be liquid b4 the season!

mckay said...

it was good of you to drive him to rehab, even if it didn't work out. i'm very glad this will be your last time driving him. perhaps his mom should have the honors for the next shift of shakes. she should witness her handiwork.

Aunt Jo said...

At least the potato pancakes weren't singing too.....

Meow said...

It was good of you to give him your time. After what he's done to you in the past, it's a wonder that you are even willing to help him. You are an amazing woman.
Take care, Meow

Anonymous said...

We had a bad experience with a crack-addicted lady before. She stopped by our Bible study one night, saying she heard singing and wanted to come in. Soon, she started asking for a ride over and to borrow money.

In the end, I took her back to her parents' house and found out the truth from her mother. She had to go back to the area where we had the Bible study because there was some guy who gave her crack for sex. It was so sad, but what could we do? She was completely controlled by the addiction.

How many people and families have these drugs ruined?!

daveawayfromhome said...

You bought him breakfast and more important, you treated him like a human being. I dont think you could reasonably do more until he chooses to quit drugs.

slopmaster said...

Cut your loses with this loser...

Well, that's a mean thing to say. It should be one or the other though, either help him, or stay away from him.

United We Lay said...

It's hard not to get sucked back in. I think you're doing great!

mal said...

sheeeesh...what a fun morning.... You are a LOT nicer to him than I would be

Anonymous said...

Next time he calls in that condition, you should call his mother and let her deal with him.

It doesn't matter that you had a 6 year relationship with him. You have no obligation. His parents need to step up.

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that. But my crack addict (ex-BF) is somewhat "functioning."

He goes weeks and sometimes months without using, but then, when everything seems to be going well, poof! He disappears for days at a time on a binge and comes back broke and sick and nasty.

Good luck to you. I just had to cut ties with mine, and now I'm dealing with a bit of my own co-dependency issues.